Disney has officially cast its star for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. On Wednesday, the studio announced that pop star and actress Halle Bailey (Grown-ish) will play the role of Ariel, a young mermaid who desperately wants to ascend to the surface and live life among humans. To accomplish her goal, she trades her voice to a sea-witch in exchange for human legs. According to rumors, Melissa McCarthy may star opposite Bailey as the iconic Ursula, though official casting has not been announced.
“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” director Rob Marshall said in a statement.
Marshall will co-produce the film alongside John DeLuca, Marc Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. In addition to songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman from the 1989 animated classic, the live-action adaptation will also feature new songs by Menken and Miranda. Production is slated to begin in early 2020.
More announcements regarding The Little Mermaid are forthcoming — follow The Beat for more news regarding this latest Disney project and follow Halle Bailey and her sister Chloe on Twitter for updates from the star herself: